This Asian kale salad recipe tosses fresh kale, peppers, and sugar snap peas, in a sweet and tangy peanut ginger dressing, for an incredible healthy side dish.
WHY YOU SHOULD LOVE KALE
Do you love kale?
I have to admit that before moving to Washington, I didn’t even know what kale was. I had pretty much seen it as a garnish at restaurants. I’m sure grocery stores in Hawaii carried it, but I never saw it that I can remember. It just wasn’t on my radar.
Perhaps it simply grew in popularity, or perhaps it was my moving to Washington where it grows so stinking well, even in winter, but I quickly learned about kale and how seriously awesome it is.
Kale has protein and fiber, vitamins A C & K, folate, potassium, omega 3s, calcium, and zinc. Yep, nutritional powerhouse in those pretty green leaves.
It also grows really easily! We now currently have three varieties growing in our garden, and eat it almost every day.
I am not a gardener. I plant starts, I weed twice a season, and I have drip irrigation.
Kale is simply the PERFECT vegetable for me to grow!
Some people have trouble with kale though. It’s tougher than lettuce or spinach, so you don’t usually want to eat it fresh like you would one of those. but with the perfect dressing, you just might become a kale salad addict like we have.
ASIAN SALAD DRESSING RECIPE
You are going to fall in love with this dressing recipe.
I call it “Asian” because it’s a mix of ingredients popular in various Asian cuisines, but it’s not an authentic recipe from any country in particular. Perhaps it would be closest to Thai or Vietnamese because of the peanut butter in the dressing.
You don’t have to use a food processor to make the dressing. I choose to because I make a big batch and this is an easy way to mix it. You can also use a blender or mix it by hand with a fork. Just make sure that you do finely grate your garlic and ginger so you don’t end up with big chunks that settle into the bottom of your dressing.
There are times that chunky garlic is perfectly acceptable. This is not one of those times.
The dressing makes this salad, and really you could swap out the peppers and sugar snap peas for other vegetables you have one hand. Maybe julienned carrots and cucumbers, or some thinly sliced cabbage and julienned zucchini. The recipe makes some extra dressing so you can play with salad ingredients later. I basically just used what was in my garden.
ASIAN KALE SALAD RECIPE
Whatever vegetables you choose to toss in with your salad, just make sure they are chopped or sliced to their best advantage. You really want them to get coated in the lovely dressing.
For the sugar snap peas, I chopped them at a slight angle into half inch pieces. They just look prettier that way! I also sliced the mini bell peppers very thinly on my favorite fast and easy mandoline. You just want to make sure not to have any huge chunks of hard veggies, or large pieces of kale that are too big to chew. This salad is all about similar texture and lots of flavor.
But really, make the dressing. Pour it on everything (we even pour it on our rice and chicken), and go to bed with a happy tummy.
- 1 large bunch of kale
- 20 sugar snap peas
- 6 mini bell peppers
- 1/4 cup honey
- 3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil I used melted coconut oil
- 3 tablespoons peanut butter crunchy or creamy
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce We love Aloha shoyu
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons grated ginger our favorite microplane grater
- 1 clove large garlic grated
- Slice the stems out of the kale (you can save the stems for making veggie stock) and chop the kale into bite sized pieces.
- Slice the peas into 1/4 inch chunks.
- Use a mandoline to slice the bell peppers very thinly.
- Place all the dressing ingredients in a food processor and pulse until well mixed.
- Toss the salad and dressing ingredients in a large bowl to serve immediately, or chill salad and dressing separately and toss together when ready to serve.
Approximate cost/serving: We grow our own kale and peas which greatly cuts the cost. You can also get them along with mini peppers and Adams Peanut Butter in bulk at Costco. This ended up costing us just $2.40 so about 60 cents per serving.
Vegetarian/Gluten Free: Yes to both, just make sure to go with a gluten free soy sauce. Also vegan and dairy free.
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Nutritional and cost information is for estimating purposes only, and subject to variations due to region, seasonality, and product availability.